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Author Topic: The Dream Machine of a Non-Techie -- Looking for Advice on Building/Buying  (Read 1646 times)

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MrDoFan

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Hi there,

Finally at a point in my life where my wallet, time and living space can actually allow for a real arcade-sized machine.

I was hoping to offer the parameters of my Dream Machine and solicit advice on how to go about either Building it -- I've Zero experience with assembling electronics but could be willing to learn, with directives toward a tried-and-true manual or instructions (I'd need a pre-existing cabinet or a cabinet kit, as I haven't the tools/skills to cut one from scratch) -- or else Buying it from an experienced person looking to build and sell.

------

CABINET: Upright, standard to arcade size.  Wood grain or faux wood grain look.

MARQUEE, DECOR: Mr Do! theme

CONTROLS: Red ball joystick, Red/Green Player Buttons.  (Optional bonus might be trackball for Centipede)

MONITOR: CRT, sizeable. (I don't mind spending the extra $ and dealing with the weight considerations of an 80-lb monitor, over a lightweight LCD because if I understand correctly, it will lend more to the feel of an arcade experience)

GAMES: I'm an early '80s guy:  Mr. Do!, Pooyan, Pac-Man, Ms. Pac-Man, Time Pilot, Space Invaders.  Simple arcade action. (Not interested in the later wave of Street Fighter, X-Men/Capcom, fighting/driving/shooting/dancing stuff.  Nor do I need emulations of various home gaming systems like Nintendo, Sega, etc.). Reading about ArcadeSD, maybe that would fit the bill?

-----

Thanks in advance for any and all advice.

MrDoFan (John in NY)
« Last Edit: September 01, 2017, 07:15:26 am by MrDoFan »

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Re: The Dream Machine of a Non-Techie -- Looking for Advice on Building/Buying
« Reply #1 on: September 01, 2017, 12:54:28 pm »
Welcome to the forums!  Sounds like you want a vertical oriented setup with a 4-way joystick to play the classics that you love.

My advice is to keep it simple!  Too many admin buttons can get cluttered!  Also, don't try to get EVERY single game on there.  Choose what games you like and move from there.

P.S. - What part of NY?

Good luck!

DeL
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MrDoFan

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Re: The Dream Machine of a Non-Techie -- Looking for Advice on Building/Buying
« Reply #2 on: September 01, 2017, 01:34:49 pm »
Thank you sir!

The more I read about the ArcadeSD pcb, the more I think that's the answer.  (And I hear you about keeping it simple and not going crazy with the number of games.)

On the cabinet, was looking at Haruman's cabinet kits today.  If I went that route I'd pick a plywood one and hope to stain it, I think.

Not too far from me there's a Mr Do dedicated cabinet available, and I wondered how difficult or easy it would be to swap in the ArcadeSD pcb.  But the owner said he thought it would be hard and that he never touches the machines himself.  The advantage of starting with the pre-existing Mr Do cabinet is it comes with CRT arcade monitor and Mr Do marquee and side decals.  Wish I knew a damn think about electronics, so as to have a better sense of if the Mr Do cabinet + the ArcadeSD would be a good idea.

I'm in Queens, home of meat on a stick.

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Re: The Dream Machine of a Non-Techie -- Looking for Advice on Building/Buying
« Reply #3 on: September 01, 2017, 02:17:21 pm »
Thank you sir!

The more I read about the ArcadeSD pcb, the more I think that's the answer.  (And I hear you about keeping it simple and not going crazy with the number of games.)

On the cabinet, was looking at Haruman's cabinet kits today.  If I went that route I'd pick a plywood one and hope to stain it, I think.

Not too far from me there's a Mr Do dedicated cabinet available, and I wondered how difficult or easy it would be to swap in the ArcadeSD pcb.  But the owner said he thought it would be hard and that he never touches the machines himself.  The advantage of starting with the pre-existing Mr Do cabinet is it comes with CRT arcade monitor and Mr Do marquee and side decals.  Wish I knew a damn think about electronics, so as to have a better sense of if the Mr Do cabinet + the ArcadeSD would be a good idea.

I'm in Queens, home of meat on a stick.

I don't think Mr. Do is a JAMMA cabinet, so you would have to rewire most of the cabinet. Also Mr. Do cabinets only have one "fire" button, which may be an issue for some games.

MrDoFan

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Re: The Dream Machine of a Non-Techie -- Looking for Advice on Building/Buying
« Reply #4 on: September 01, 2017, 04:02:09 pm »
Thanks for the insight, SuperGojira.

I'd thought about the issue of one fire-button.  But I had no idea how much (or how little) expertise would go into switching out the Mr Do board with the ArcadeSD board.  Sounds like more effort and expertise than I possess (nil).

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Re: The Dream Machine of a Non-Techie -- Looking for Advice on Building/Buying
« Reply #5 on: September 01, 2017, 06:26:13 pm »
Thanks for the insight, SuperGojira.

I'd thought about the issue of one fire-button.  But I had no idea how much (or how little) expertise would go into switching out the Mr Do board with the ArcadeSD board.  Sounds like more effort and expertise than I possess (nil).

It would take a lot of work, and personally I wouldn't do it unless if the cabinet is gutted because. It would also be hard to turn it back into a Mr. Do if you ever would want to do that. I would look for either a gutted, or some vertical JAMMA cabinet on Craigslist. All you would have to do is swap the current JAMMA board with the ArcadeSD (unless if the cabinet needs some sort of other repair).

MrDoFan

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Re: The Dream Machine of a Non-Techie -- Looking for Advice on Building/Buying
« Reply #6 on: September 02, 2017, 04:43:08 am »
Quote
I would look for either a gutted, or some vertical JAMMA cabinet on Craigslist. All you would have to do is swap the current JAMMA board with the ArcadeSD

Thanks for the advice. I am only just beginning to learn about terms like JAMMA, and have now found online lists of JAMMA games to assist me in any Craigslist searches for suitable games for conversion.

yotsuya

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Re: The Dream Machine of a Non-Techie -- Looking for Advice on Building/Buying
« Reply #7 on: September 02, 2017, 09:27:58 am »
Honestly, none of this stuff is really hard once you learn how to do it, so don't be intimidated. Just keep reading! :cheers:
***Build what you dig, bro. Build what you dig.***

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Re: The Dream Machine of a Non-Techie -- Looking for Advice on Building/Buying
« Reply #8 on: September 04, 2017, 08:01:22 pm »
Actually there is an adapter that allows you to play JAMMA boards in a Mr. Do cabinet: http://www.arcadeshop.com/i/1243/mr.-do-cabinet-to-jamma-pcb-adapter.htm Pretty cool!

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Re: The Dream Machine of a Non-Techie -- Looking for Advice on Building/Buying
« Reply #9 on: September 05, 2017, 09:03:03 pm »
Thanks for the encouragement, yotsuya, and for the hot tip on that adapter, SuperG... Someone else pointed this up to me too. I'd have never guessed there existed Mr Do / Universal adapter like that.

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Re: The Dream Machine of a Non-Techie -- Looking for Advice on Building/Buying
« Reply #10 on: September 05, 2017, 09:27:21 pm »
Thanks for the encouragement, yotsuya, and for the hot tip on that adapter, SuperG... Someone else pointed this up to me too. I'd have never guessed there existed Mr Do / Universal adapter like that.

No problem. I started out just like you, my friend. Now people pay me actual money for my arcade repair skills!
***Build what you dig, bro. Build what you dig.***

Mike A

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Re: The Dream Machine of a Non-Techie -- Looking for Advice on Building/Buying
« Reply #11 on: September 06, 2017, 10:29:55 am »


Quote
No problem. I started out just like you, my friend. Now people pay me actual money for my arcade repair skills!

yotsuya

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Re: The Dream Machine of a Non-Techie -- Looking for Advice on Building/Buying
« Reply #12 on: September 06, 2017, 10:42:28 am »


Quote
No problem. I started out just like you, my friend. Now people pay me actual money for my arcade repair skills!
I've also gotten stuff in trade for my skills... like this last night...

***Build what you dig, bro. Build what you dig.***

Titchgamer

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Re: The Dream Machine of a Non-Techie -- Looking for Advice on Building/Buying
« Reply #13 on: September 06, 2017, 11:43:56 am »
Wish I had your luck Yot!
The most I ever get is a thank you and a quick go on the game!

TOMMYGUN

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Re: The Dream Machine of a Non-Techie -- Looking for Advice on Building/Buying
« Reply #14 on: September 06, 2017, 12:27:54 pm »
If i was you i would go for an LCD i have an LCD in use for 15 years now daily use i doubt any tube tv or monitor can do that, plus less chance of damaging it when installing, for me LCD all the way
There are ppl who want that arcade feel but if you ask me it is trouble in the waiting.
If you decide to go for LCd buy a big screen like this one-    
LG 29UM69G-B   29" @ 2560x1080  -for 2 to 300$ its a steal and LG lasts you almost a lifetime

I just noticed that you are going for a conversion instead of a build, buy a machine that is not to old would be the advise
« Last Edit: September 06, 2017, 12:32:35 pm by TOMMYGUN »
When i build it they will come

Mike A

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Re: The Dream Machine of a Non-Techie -- Looking for Advice on Building/Buying
« Reply #15 on: September 06, 2017, 12:31:28 pm »
You have no soul.

TOMMYGUN

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Re: The Dream Machine of a Non-Techie -- Looking for Advice on Building/Buying
« Reply #16 on: September 06, 2017, 12:33:54 pm »
thats what your mother said  ;D
no i realy think LCD lasts longer and better quality picture if you buy a good brand, if you are looking to build a MAME cab you are not going to put in a old tube atleast i wouldent.
« Last Edit: September 06, 2017, 12:38:24 pm by TOMMYGUN »
When i build it they will come

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Re: The Dream Machine of a Non-Techie -- Looking for Advice on Building/Buying
« Reply #17 on: September 06, 2017, 12:44:31 pm »
There are tons of CRTs still going strong after 30 years. I have one MAME cab and 7 dedicated machines in my house. They are all CRT's. If you grew up in the heyday of the arcade, an LCD just doesn't do it. There is something visceral to the feeling when a CRT powers up. You can hear it and feel it in the air.
« Last Edit: September 06, 2017, 12:48:09 pm by Mike A »

TOMMYGUN

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Re: The Dream Machine of a Non-Techie -- Looking for Advice on Building/Buying
« Reply #18 on: September 06, 2017, 01:01:47 pm »
yeah i gamed in the 80s and 90s and i know what you mean those games where designed for those screens, but that is the radioactivity from the tube you feel :D visualy it is not better
-and with LCD you can go realy big screen.
-The power consumption is bigger on a tube.
-it weighs more
you realy are a CRT guy, for me it is not an option to be one, no vendors in Belgium, and shipping one from the states is costing way more all together then a nice new LCD
« Last Edit: September 06, 2017, 01:16:48 pm by TOMMYGUN »
When i build it they will come

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Re: The Dream Machine of a Non-Techie -- Looking for Advice on Building/Buying
« Reply #19 on: September 06, 2017, 01:21:56 pm »
CRTs are visually far better for arcade games.

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Re: The Dream Machine of a Non-Techie -- Looking for Advice on Building/Buying
« Reply #20 on: September 06, 2017, 01:35:26 pm »
oke then il walk away :blank:
« Last Edit: September 06, 2017, 01:38:39 pm by TOMMYGUN »
When i build it they will come

jennifer

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Re: The Dream Machine of a Non-Techie -- Looking for Advice on Building/Buying
« Reply #21 on: September 06, 2017, 08:57:42 pm »
...EDIT...
« Last Edit: September 07, 2017, 05:56:42 pm by jennifer »

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Re: The Dream Machine of a Non-Techie -- Looking for Advice on Building/Buying
« Reply #22 on: September 06, 2017, 09:55:14 pm »
Welcome to the forum and the hobby! MrDoFan

as Yotsuya has stated, none of this stuff is hard, and in a few months you'll be surprised how much you've absorbed

- we are all here to help you, ...no one wants to hear about another project that's been abandoned for one reason or another.

..of course being a forum there will be lots of opinions ....and as the advise is free (unless you pay Yotsuya :) ) you are also welcome (encouraged) to use only what works for you.

re CRT vs LCD  - LCD is probably the safest starting point (unless you buy a 2nd hand cab with a good working Monitor ....of course there's nothing stopping you storing it until your 2nd project.. )

CRT's can have a lot of residual voltage (often the bleed resistors are faulty) that need to be earthed before you touch them - frightening if you haven't done it before (worse if you've had a few belts over the years - like me)

However - given a choice, playing a game on a well tuned CRT is a way better experience than a LCD (over half my personal collection are CRT's) - My opinion!

Main thing is don't let the frequently off topic conversations that will occur on your thread to side track you from moving forward.

All the best, looking forward to seeing your posts / progress
« Last Edit: September 06, 2017, 09:57:39 pm by talkgeek »
Currently building http://forum.arcadecontrols.com/index.php/topic,137777.0.html Mass-Replicate
Built "n0tsq3" cocktail cab http://forum.arcadecontrols.com/index.php/topic,133913.0/all.html
..and restoring a Sega MegaLo 410 Candy Cab & Moon Patrol Cab

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Re: The Dream Machine of a Non-Techie -- Looking for Advice on Building/Buying
« Reply #23 on: September 06, 2017, 10:48:36 pm »
...EDIT...
« Last Edit: September 07, 2017, 05:55:32 pm by jennifer »

yotsuya

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Re: The Dream Machine of a Non-Techie -- Looking for Advice on Building/Buying
« Reply #24 on: September 06, 2017, 11:21:35 pm »
It's not hard if you take your time and do your research. I give kudos to the OP because he's looking for advice and is willing to learn.
***Build what you dig, bro. Build what you dig.***

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Re: The Dream Machine of a Non-Techie -- Looking for Advice on Building/Buying
« Reply #25 on: September 07, 2017, 02:40:04 am »
...EDIT...
« Last Edit: September 07, 2017, 05:54:42 pm by jennifer »

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Re: The Dream Machine of a Non-Techie -- Looking for Advice on Building/Buying
« Reply #26 on: September 07, 2017, 03:02:19 am »
Wow jenny you are obtuse. A  factory of employees building mass quantities of cabinets is not the same as a hobbyist building a one-off project. You can easily build all aspects of a cabinet correctly because you don't have the constraints of having to build hundreds or thousands at a time under certain budgetary conditions.

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Re: The Dream Machine of a Non-Techie -- Looking for Advice on Building/Buying
« Reply #27 on: September 07, 2017, 03:19:15 am »
...EDIT...
« Last Edit: September 07, 2017, 05:54:04 pm by jennifer »

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Re: The Dream Machine of a Non-Techie -- Looking for Advice on Building/Buying
« Reply #28 on: September 07, 2017, 03:29:44 am »
The main reason for unfinished projects is they were lied to about the dedication, investment, research, and in some cases the obsession and social aspects  involved, Truth of the matter is they don't build themselves while you watch from the lazyboy.... These machines were built in giant factory's with thousands of employees, for one person to be good at all aspects of building a machine even a kit from ground zero is difficult at best but telling someone it is easy is totally Ludacris.... Slap some junk together perhaps, but that's NOT a "dream machine".
We should encourage rather than discourage. Sure some folks will not finish their arcade projects. They likely just didn't have the passion or life got in the way. If MrDoFan is passionate then that's a great start and he should be encouraged.

I'm a total newb to arcades and I've been working on building a Donkey Kong from scratch. It has been my passion for this project that has allowed me to push forward. I've spent many hours researching and studying Donkey Kong pictures, scrounging for parts daily on Craigslist and eBay, and getting help from the great community here. I've found with all the information out there that's yotsuya is right. If you take your time and do your research then you'll be able to build your "dream machine" and it will be surprisingly a lot easier than you think.

Also, be prepared to blow your budget by 4x!  :cheers:

MrDoFan, I would love to see you build this Mr Do themed arcade!
« Last Edit: September 07, 2017, 03:43:31 am by zinger »

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Re: The Dream Machine of a Non-Techie -- Looking for Advice on Building/Buying
« Reply #29 on: September 07, 2017, 03:48:34 am »
...EDIT...
« Last Edit: September 07, 2017, 05:53:18 pm by jennifer »

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Re: The Dream Machine of a Non-Techie -- Looking for Advice on Building/Buying
« Reply #30 on: September 07, 2017, 04:02:05 am »
Jennifer, none of us knew how to build a cabinet before we actually built one.
Yet most of us managed to do it to a nice standard.

Although I agree to say its not all easy, there are always problems down the line.

Its really not that hard if you take your time and research your goal.

We are all human, we all make mistakes and ---steaming pile of meadow muffin--- happens.

But you dont exactly need a PHD.

Just time and dedication will suffice.

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Re: The Dream Machine of a Non-Techie -- Looking for Advice on Building/Buying
« Reply #31 on: September 07, 2017, 04:16:21 am »
 ...EDIT...
« Last Edit: September 07, 2017, 05:52:44 pm by jennifer »

Mike A

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Re: The Dream Machine of a Non-Techie -- Looking for Advice on Building/Buying
« Reply #32 on: September 07, 2017, 04:54:58 am »
It is an arcade cabinet, not a freakin' rocket. It is a wooden box with a computer and a TV inside.

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Re: The Dream Machine of a Non-Techie -- Looking for Advice on Building/Buying
« Reply #33 on: September 07, 2017, 05:15:19 am »
I see no reason why anyone would need to know Ohms law, Capacitance theory or any other electronics theory to build a basic cabinet.

As long as you understand how to read a schematic, and how to wire a NO switch thats about it.
Most of it is plug and play.

Oh and most important dont mix voltages!

IMO the build is normally harder than the wiring!!

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Re: The Dream Machine of a Non-Techie -- Looking for Advice on Building/Buying
« Reply #34 on: September 07, 2017, 08:54:54 am »
...EDIT...
« Last Edit: September 07, 2017, 05:51:58 pm by jennifer »

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The Dream Machine of a Non-Techie -- Looking for Advice on Building/Buying
« Reply #35 on: September 07, 2017, 09:12:56 am »
I said it was easy, not that it was simple. Of course you're going to work hard, be challenged, and have to figure things out. But it's not hard it in the sense that he won't be able to accomplish the task. And that's all part of the fun.

I went from being pretty sure I was going to use a Tankstick to now supporting a local arcade with their repairs. All it took was continual reading and me willing to get my hands dirty actually doing stuff.

Like It's been said, it's not rocket science.
***Build what you dig, bro. Build what you dig.***

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Re: The Dream Machine of a Non-Techie -- Looking for Advice on Building/Buying
« Reply #36 on: September 07, 2017, 10:04:35 am »
   I already said he most likely wouldn't need that for this build, that would be more for troubleshooting and design, But your talking to a guy that wants some direction and quite possibly (as of yet) doesn't even know there are different kinds of voltages, (hence get a voltmeter comment) so really you are of little help to the OP, other than "go research something, and read stuff"....  At least I was honest.

I was offering words of encouragement to the OP [emoji2]

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Re: The Dream Machine of a Non-Techie -- Looking for Advice on Building/Buying
« Reply #37 on: September 07, 2017, 10:16:00 am »
Michael just wants to know why that third person thing started drifting in and out. Michael finds it disconcerting.

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Re: The Dream Machine of a Non-Techie -- Looking for Advice on Building/Buying
« Reply #38 on: September 07, 2017, 12:37:18 pm »
...EDIT...
« Last Edit: September 07, 2017, 05:57:32 pm by jennifer »

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Re: The Dream Machine of a Non-Techie -- Looking for Advice on Building/Buying
« Reply #39 on: September 07, 2017, 12:47:29 pm »
I said it was easy, not that it was simple. Of course you're going to work hard, be challenged, and have to figure things out. But it's not hard it in the sense that he won't be able to accomplish the task. And that's all part of the fun.

I went from being pretty sure I was going to use a Tankstick to now supporting a local arcade with their repairs. All it took was continual reading and me willing to get my hands dirty actually doing stuff.

Like It's been said, it's not rocket science.
That a lot less than rubber stamp, and considerably more comprehensive, THX yots,
      T/gamer.... That's a sweet D/kong you got there, I wish I could have followed that A bit more.
      Jennifer just wants to see some meat on a stick.... And give Micheal his due. :hissy

I get what you're saying, Jennifer. I do. I just found the OPs inquiry and research refreshing. More often than not, new post builds consist of " I got a Pi and I saw a YouTube video and now I want to make an arcade so tell me what to do!!!1!!" People want others to do the work for them. Most of us who are here and stuck around learned through research, trial and error, and it's nice to see someone willing to do that as opposed to demanding to be spoonfed.
***Build what you dig, bro. Build what you dig.***

  
 

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